About a year ago, when we went in to get this picture taken...
the kids watched a movie in the waiting room. I was glad for the distraction. I tend to get a little uptight when it comes to picture taking time. That's why it rarely happens. Anyway, I was not a bit interested in the movie so I thought I'd have some fun with the kids. I pretended to cry to see if I could distract them from the movie and was so amazed with the results.
Abbie broke away from the show to repeatedly ask me, in a very stressed way, why I was crying. "What's wrong? What? Why are you crying? What!?"
Connor turned from the tv long enough to look at me and laugh and then went right back to watching the show.
Emily couldn't stand it for a minute and immediately had to come comfort me with a big hug.
My little experiment said so much about each of my kids. Abbie does not like it when people are sad but isn't sure what to do about it. Connor is often too clueless to care. And Emily does whatever she has to to make people happy. Of course, this doesn't apply every time with all of the kids, but it's pretty close.
Holly was too young at the time for the experiment to work. So I tried it on her more recently. I got a whole new reaction. She tries real hard not to smile, and then starts telling whoever is around, "Mommy's crying, Mommy's crying." Sometimes no one is around. She still just calmly states, "Mommy's crying, Mommy's crying." It cracks me up. I suppose she's a mix between Connor and Abbie.
As for myself, comforting others isn't something I was born to do. I see myself most like Abbie when it comes to that. I'm trying to be better at comforting and certainly pray for help. Part of my problem is that I so rarely cry myself. I remember being at girls camp when everyone was bawling there heads off and wondering what was wrong with me! I've come to accept that it's just how I was made. Doesn't mean I don't feel things, my tear ducts just don't overflow as much as others.
Lesson learned: some of us are just born with more compassion than others. Luckily those with less compassion have other qualities that we can't live without. It all comes back to that big puzzle and being the piece we were made to be. That's what makes a perfect picture.